From Category: Self-Publishing Resources
This self-publishing company promises quick turnaround and responsive customer service. Pricing is easy to calculate on the website.
99 Designs connects self-published and indie authors with freelance designers to create a professional-looking book or magazine cover. Set your price (minimum $299), describe your concept, and choose from proposals by 10 or more designers.
Fiction writer and sex educator Allison Moon explains how self-publishing can be a radical, democratic path to success for feminist writers and others who fall outside the commercial mainstream. Visit her website to read about her book 'Lunatic Fringe', the first in a planned trilogy of lesbian werewolf novels.
This free service allows you to self-publish your books in Amazon's popular e-reader format. Books self-published through KDP can participate in the 70% royalty program and are available for purchase on Kindle devices and Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PC, Mac, Blackberry, and Android-based devices. With KDP, you can self-publish books in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian and specify pricing in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling, and Euros.
Clea Saal at Books & Tales has compiled this easy-to-read comparison chart of the prices and terms of a variety of print-on-demand publishing companies.
This 2015 article from self-publishing expert David Gaughran's blog “Let's Get Digital” exposes the deceptive marketing practices of Author Solutions and its questionable partnerships with major publishing houses. Author Solutions is the umbrella company for several well-known self-publishing imprints such as iUniverse, Trafford, AuthorHouse, and Xlibris. According to allegations in a pending class-action suit: “Author Solutions operates more like a telemarketing company whose customer base is the Authors themselves. In other words, unlike a traditional publisher, Author Solutions makes money from its Authors, not for them. It does so by selling books back to its Authors, not to a general readership, and by selling its Authors expensive publishing, editing, and marketing services that are effectively worthless.”
This article from David Gaughran's self-publishing blog “Let's Get Digital” warns about overpriced intermediaries.
This free program allows you to self-publish your books in print and for B&N's Nook e-reader and compatible devices. The site takes a percentage of sales.
The Alliance of Independent Authors maintains this Watchdog service that rates dozens of self-publishing services based on price, distribution channels, book design quality, and ethics.
BiblioCrunch is an online marketplace that matches freelancers with projects in book design, editing, proofreading, and illustration. The basic service, which is free, allows users to post projects and receive proposals. Paid membership adds direct access to the directory of freelancers and the ability to message them directly.
Self-publishing service Blurb maintains this curated list of vendors of editing, design, ghostwriting, book coaching, and e-book conversion services. The list is free to browse on their website, whether or not you use Blurb's other services.
In this blog post, romantic suspense author Zara West (Beneath the Skin) describes the basic elements of a successful book trailer and how to create them using public-domain music and images.
Self-publishing service BookBub has compiled this list of articles from their BookBub Partners blog, covering every aspect of the marketing campaign for your self-published or small press book. Topics include book and cover design, pricing, advertising, creating an online platform, author success stories, and how to track the results of your marketing efforts.
Canva is an online resource site for easy-to-use graphic design templates for book covers, newsletters, periodicals, and promotional materials. Some templates are free. Use their print service to create custom stationery, business cards, and flyers.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's “How to Do It Frugally” website is the portal for her award-winning series of books on marketing, editing, and book proposals. Her guides for indie authors have received honors from USA Book News, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the Global Ebook Awards, and others. The Frugal Book Promoter and How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically feature strategies for free or low-cost book publicity. The Frugal Editor and Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers will ensure that your self-published book or manuscript submission looks professional. The Great First Impression Book Proposal: Everything You Need To Know To Sell Your Book in 30 Minutes or Less covers pitching your manuscript to editors and agents.
Compfight is a search engine to locate Creative Commons (public domain) images on the photo-sharing site Flickr. Use it to illustrate your literary blogs, book covers, or promotional materials.
Blogging.com is a blogging resource and advice website. This article lays out the steps for turning your blog posts into an e-book, from the initial decisions about self-publishing and distribution, to options for formatting, conversion, design, and sales platforms.
The design team at Damonza offers a variety of packages for book cover design, print and e-book formatting, and book trailer videos. They have experience in both fiction and commercial nonfiction. Check out their 800+ samples on their website.
Product Hunt is a site where tech experts share daily recommendations about their favorite new apps, websites, and software. This list, curated by Garrett Jestice of Lucidpress, recommends numerous sources for stock photos, graphics, design tutorials and more. Useful for writers creating book trailers, online ads, blogs, or book covers.
In this 2017 article at Writer Unboxed, Laura Heffernan, self-published author of the romantic comedy novels America's Next Reality Star and Sweet Reality, compares sales figures and Amazon rankings from 19 “daily deal” sites where she advertised her 99-cent e-book sale.
Molli Nickell, a former Time-Life editor and journalist, now teaches writers to create marketing documents and make effective pitches to agents and editors. She also guides writers through the pros and cons of self-publishing. Her website features monthly contests with the prize of a free consultation. Based on the sample pitches and manuscript excerpts on the site, this service seems most appropriate for writers of genre fiction or commercial nonfiction.
In this blog post, Amazon Top Reviewer “Bassocantor”, a/k/a Chris Lawson, gives advice on how to craft a professional, targeted pitch to solicit book reviews.
The Independent Book Publishers Association released these guidelines in 2018 to help small presses adhere to best practices, and to assist authors in distinguishing a legitimate author-publisher cost-sharing model from a vanity press. IBPA's Hybrid Publisher Criteria require that hybrid publishers behave just like traditional publishers in all respects, except when it comes to business model. Hybrid publishers use an author-subsidized business model, as opposed to financing all costs themselves, and in exchange return a higher-than-industry-standard share of sales proceeds to the author. In other words, although hybrid publishing companies are author-subsidized, they are different from other author-subsidized models in that they adhere to professional publishing standards. IBPA's standards include a competitive editorial selection process, high-quality book design, distribution services, and respectable sales figures.
IndieReader offers self-published authors an attractive, professional-looking portal to list and sell their books. A fun feature of the site is the Indie Book Matchmaker, for readers seeking to discover new authors. Select a type of book from their quirky dropdown menu (options include “Fantasy Romance”, “Hard-Boiled”, “Based on the Bible”, and “About Floral Arrangement”), then select a comparable well-known title from the second menu.
Fiction writer K.S. Brooks administrates this online community that offers a platform for self-published and small press writers to promote their books. Weekly themed contests, judged by the readers of the site, offer the chance to be published on the website and in an annual e-book anthology. “At Indies Unlimited, we support a broad and inclusive definition that encompasses authors whose body of work is not obligated to a single large publishing company. Authors who are exclusively self-published, those who work with small print or regional presses, or small digital publishers, and those who may do some of each, or even have only some work published by traditional publishers are welcome here. The bottom line is that if you consider yourself to be an indie, you most likely qualify.”
The best deal we've found for self-publishing. Their print-on-demand software lets authors design their own professional-looking books for only a few dollars a copy. Order anywhere from 25 to 5,000 books.
Digital publishing expert Jane Friedman compiled this extensive list of resources about how to publish an e-book, find the right e-publishing services, and stay on top of changes in the industry.
This 2017 blog post from publishing expert Jane Friedman walks you through the steps of self-publishing a book. Video tutorial included.
Derek Haines, a speculative fiction and thriller writer, maintains this useful blog with advice for self-published authors, with detailed and timely articles about such topics as using social media to sell books.
This free 21-page online guide from Kirkus Reviews, a leading book-review publication, walks new authors through their basic options for design, marketing, and distribution of self-published books.
Self-publish your own magazine through MagCloud. Simply upload a PDF of your issue and MagCloud will handle printing, mailing, and subscription management. Small press runs are no problem here. Participation is limited while the site is still in beta-testing.
This New York Times article from July 2011 discusses trends in self-publishing and how to choose the right publishing package.
In this essay in Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry, poet and novelist Tracy Koretsky writes about building a readership by making her self-published poetry collection 'Even Before My Own Name' available for free download from her website. Koretsky is the Winning Writers Poetry Reviewer, whose critiques of subscriber work appear in our monthly e-newsletter.
Create your own audiobook from your published or unpublished book. Reasonable fees.
Pexels is a curated archive of free stock photos that writers can use to illustrate their blogs, book covers, or promotional materials.
PublishDrive's free converter tool will change your MS Word documents into ePub or Kindle mobi files (two of the most popular e-book formats). Note that conversion of complicated publications is not guaranteed (magazines, textbooks, books with many pictures or too long and wide tables). Files must use Latin characters only, no foreign-language alphabets.
Diana Urban, industry marketing manager at the self-publishing company BookBub, compiled this list of 48+ reputable vendors for every stage of book creation and marketing. Categories include developmental and copy editing, graphic design, distribution for self-published books, marketing, publishing industry news, authors' associations, and website building tools. Links are current as of 2019.
Reedsy is a networking and resource site for book marketing. This curated list features 174 book review blogs that were active as of 2017, searchable by genre and openness to indie books (self-published and print-on-demand).
Scribendi provides a wide variety of proofreading and copyediting services for literary manuscripts, personal and business documents, and academic writing. Pricing is per word. They can also help write a query letter, synopsis, and outline for authors of fiction and nonfiction books who are shopping their manuscripts to agents. Specialty services include religious editing and proofreading for hymns, sermons, inspirational blog posts, and academic theological works.
Self-published author Andy Kessler shares secrets of his success in this Wall Street Journal editorial. Kessler took advantage of the speed of self-publishing to get his book into stores while the topic was still newsworthy.
In this 2017 guest post on publishing expert Jane Friedman's blog, Nicole Dieker offers a dollars-and-cents case study of all the marketing strategies she used for her debut literary novel, The Biographies of Ordinary People: Vol. 1: 1989-2000, and their return on investment. A must-read for indie authors on a budget.
This website helps authors, agents, and publishers convert their books into a variety of popular e-book formats and sell them on the Smashwords site. Membership is free; Smashwords takes a percentage of net sales proceeds.
Striking 13 is a website that reviews self-published and small press books of fiction. They offer a free quarterly contest for flash fiction, with prizes of Amazon gift cards up to $25. See website for each contest's theme.
This site, run by publishing and graphic design expert Joel Friedlander, gives resources to help self-publishing authors design professional-looking books. The site includes articles on marketing, a guide to software options, typeface suggestions, and book design templates.
The Independent Publishing Magazine is an online magazine that highlights trends, resources, and best practices in self-publishing and small presses. It is edited by Mick Rooney, an author, journalist, and consultant, who has written two books of advice on self-publishing.
Intellectual property lawyer David Vandagriff (a/k/a “Passive Guy”) blogs about trends in self-publishing and traditional publishing. His posts on publishing contract terms and pitfalls are especially valuable.
At the website of Poets & Writers magazine, publishing veteran Debra Englander has interviewed numerous self-published authors about their experiences creating and marketing their books. Each interview is supplemented with expert opinions about the success of the author's self-publishing plan, adding up to a valuable case study on all aspects of self-publishing.
In this 2016 post from his blog Dying Words, a resource for mystery and thriller authors, crime novelist Garry Rodgers interviews nine best-selling indie and self-published writers about the strategies that took their book sales to the next level. Some common themes: build a mailing list, focus on your niche, and keep putting out new titles that are well-written and professionally edited.
A project of Wildbound PR, TrailerShelf is a curated site that features book trailers in a variety of genres including literature and fiction, mystery, young adult, spirituality, history, biography, art books, children's literature, and indie authors. There is no charge to submit your book trailer, but the site is selective about acceptance, based on the quality and creativity of the video and the expected audience for the book. They expect to add a paid advertising feature with modest fees. Wildbound PR founder Julia Drake says, “The prices [are likely to] range from $10 for social media amplification to $75 for being featured in our Top Trallers section. There's no way to tell on the site whether placement is paid for or not, but bear in mind that we have to accept the submission, so if we feel that the placement is not warranted, we won't accept the sponsored listing. We will have a special section to highlight great trailers for self-published and indie books to help self-published and indie authors get more exposure.”
This article from self-publishing and marketing service BookBaby, by professional editor Jim Dempsey of Novel Gazers, explains the three types of editing that every manuscript needs before publication, and when to do each one. The page includes links to other useful articles on the same theme.